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Buddhism as a "Science of the Mind"

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Published on Sep 21, 2012

Kadam Morten Clausen is a Buddhist teacher in the New Kadampa tradition, a modern, worldwide tradition founded by Buddhist master Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. He is the Resident Teacher at the Kadampa Meditation Center NYC as well as the Vajra Light Buddhist Center in Hartsdale, NY.

Transcript -- The whole sort of atheist critique of religion doesn't really address Buddhism insofar as Buddhism is established really as a science of the mind.  It's based on observation of the mind.  And everything that Buddha taught can be empirically verified through your own experience.  In other words, you can test it.  Actually, I think it's a very interesting science because you're the scientist.  You're not just reading about what other scientists have done and, you know, confirmed and so forth like that, but you, yourself, are the experimenter.  You experiment with your own mind.

What Buddha basically said is that we can understand through our own experience that happiness comes from inner peace.  And we can explore that in our own experiences and see, well, that's true, happiness does come from inner peace.  And maybe even more importantly, we can also then establish, I have the capacity for inner peace in my own mind.  In fact, we might even say that through training of the mind, through practicing meditation, you can see that it's actually not difficult.  All we need to do is learn to let go of our unhappy thoughts, and our mind automatically becomes peaceful.

So in other words, you don't have to, like, make your mind peaceful, you just have to let go of your unhappy thoughts, your angry thoughts or your anxious thoughts.  
And what happens through that is that you then begin to experience a sense of peace, a deep inner peace.  And you can verify that through your own experience.  And through that, you get in touch then with your own potential for peace or other virtuous minds, like love or compassion or joy or kindness, generosity.  In other words, you can verify it through your own experimentation that that is the case. 

What we then discover is that the mind has this incredible capacity for profound peace or, we might say, for limitless love, for limitless kindness.  That's where I find some fault with the -- you know, as you're calling it, the "new atheism."  Simply because I don't think they are paying enough attention to the science of the mind through which we can establish, so to speak, an alternative science, but it's equally, empirically verifiable that there is a spiritual dimension to our being that you can discover through your own practice, in fact, that there is this, yeah, you might say a divine element to our nature because we discover that the mind has this capacity for limitless love, limitless compassion, limitless joy.  

Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd

http://bigthink.com/

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Comments • 1,570

はるこあずみ
I thought this video is watching by someone who think big. But down below comments seems peoples are close minded...
Todiras Ioan Radu
Don't worry sweetheart, we are here and we are many. We are just not as loud as the people you speak about.
Richard MacLeod
For the most part, I think the big thinkers who check out these videos just don't want to get drug into really drawn out conversations with negative thinkers. Don't worry, they're around!
Tashi Tsenkyap
Omg is this a guy from Kadampa Meditation Center !??
sk8ingthemystery
As an atheist this is the only "religion" that i would accept. Its more of a way of mind like he said.
Rohit Pathak
The whole problem is putting a tag of 'Religion' on 'Buddhism'. Remove that tag and one immediately observes ALL propositions are completely falsifiable. To limit science as observations made under ONLY the current sets of tools is foolishness. The theories proposed by the Buddha are subtler and much more refined and generalized than current theories in neuroscience (which seems to have fancy terms for every observed phenomena - a sign that it is highly underdeveloped). So to call Buddhism neuroscience is insulting Buddhism. For matters pertaining to the mind, I'd rather take the word of the Buddha than a neuroscientist/psychologist/cognitive scientist. And I am an atheist.
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alhaleem
Even though I'm an atheist, I really dig the way the Buddha taught us to live a happy life through kindness, empathy, love. They just don't give a shit about supernatural beings because the only one who takes control of yourself is you. Your mind is another universe you need to explore. And the amazing part is you have the ability control it. Peace.
First Martian
alhaleem if you love to know more, you can google "Kalama sutta" Very interesting for this era.
Tatvavihara
For the benefit of commentators below. There are three overall traditions in Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana (later Mahayana). Buddhas original teachings are preserved in Theravada. Mahayana (widespread) and Vajrayana (esoteric) are later developments. Lamas are part of Vajrayana. Kundalini is not part of Buddhas teachings. Buddha taught reincarnation. Reincarnation is an essential reason to follow the path to liberation otherwise you will be trapped for eternity. The calming of the mind (Vipassana) is only the first step and will not lead to lasting liberation in itself. Mahayana which includes Zen, and many others see Buddha as a godlike (or beyond that) being, but original teaching do not support this and the Buddha never claimed to be. Gods/their existence - are viewed as irrelevant as they cannot be verified.  
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Bishamonten
+Xavier Gamer Black holes and other universes cannot be verified as of now either, therefore they must also be nonsense. Though I agree with you regarding zen, and hey, the Dalai Lama said, straight from the horses mouth mind you, that if science PROVES something wrong in Buddhism, then they must abandon that claim. Now, there is a strict difference between hypothetical wrong and actual wrong.  Actual wrong needs decisive evidence.
Steven Him
+Gieszkanne my senses is not synonymous with reality. My senses is illusionary, they are just neuro impulse interpreted by the brain.
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BigBuddhaFilms
Wonderful. Kadam Morten Clausen hitting the nail on the head perfectly here.
thinklogicly1st
I'm guessing this guy has never heard of Sam F***ing Harris. One the most visible atheist and a proponent of all this mindfulness stuff. He wrote a book about it called 'Waking up' for goodness sake.
Chan!
I really liked the video. It was simple to understand and makes me want to explore my mind even more. As I realise the 5 senses are temperamental
The trolling stones
-do atheists believe there is no god? Yes -Is there any certainty of that? No. -Is it a belief? Yes. I am an atheist and I acknowledge that what I believe is a belief, albeit that is most probable.
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